Flu season impacts some U.P. schools

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UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WJMN) – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every state except for Hawaii is reporting widespread flu activity. It’s up significantly from the same time last year.

It’s also made an impact on the Eastern U.P. where some schools have even had to close. Brimley Area Schools was closed three days last week due to excessive absences from the flu. Pickford Public Schools had off Friday and today due to illnesses and the school reports that it was extensively cleaned during this time.

Schools in other parts of the U.P. haven’t reported any closings due to illness. There are standards schools have to meet before deciding to close school for the day.

“What we have to meet for state guidelines is 75-percent attendance,” said Bill Saunders, Marquette Area Public School Superintendent. “So we would need several hundred students to be out to not meet that 75-percent attendance threshold. Of course, even if we see things start to head south in that direction, we probably wouldn’t wait until we’re on that cut of not meeting 75-percent, we would probably call school off prior to that happening.”

In order to prevent the flu or the spread of the flu, the CDC recommends avoiding close contact, staying home when you’re not feeling well, covering your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze, washing your hands, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

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